Wednesday, February 2, 2011

{new feature!} working women wednesdays...

I am so pleased to present a new weekly feature here on the blog! For at least the next couple of months, each Wednesday, I will be collaborating with two of my darling girlfriends back in Seattle on a project we're calling "Working Women Wednesday."

Anna and Ingrid both work in public relations in the Pacific Northwest. They're successful, savvy and charming young professionals, navigating the sartorial freedoms and challenges that come with a sophisticated career in a casual city. Anna summed it up like this:

"The biggest dilemma we have is that the PR industry is pretty informal. Although we work for a big agency, the dress is low key. There are very few people walking around in pant suits. I feel like I'm allowed to dress my age and have fun with it as long as it stays professional."

Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? It is! Anna and Ingrid both have great taste, and this is a perfect atmosphere to explore their personal style, as well as new silhouettes and some sophisticated classics.

These women face the same 5-day-a-week dilemma that most do: How do I change it up? How do I balance professional and youthful with grace and creativity? What else in the world can I possibly wear with black pants!?

Let's kick things off with one of Anna's go-to work-day elements, her black J. Crew riding pants.

J Crew black riding pant; white J Crew "Painter's T;" Gap "Navajo" sweater; black Corso Como "Randy" boot; Michele watch and Tiffany bracelet.

I love this look. The tribal sweater is on trend-without being loud, and I'm pretty sure those are the same Corso Como boots I wear almost every day. The skinny black riding pants are a staple I'm sure Anna hardly goes a week without wearing in the colder months.

"Love my riding pants, but I'm kind of at a loss about all the ways to wear them. Love them because they are super comfy and a great fit. They look professional, but I always have trouble figuring out what my top options are with them."

Here are a few ways I would re-style this classic piece to add a little variety to the weekly routine:


Ok, so I'm currently obsessed with silk blouses, especially button downs. The luxurious fabric and casual cut make such a top an ideal option for a professional-meets-casual work enviornment. They're great on their own, and layer brilliantly I'm crazy about the fit of Equipment's washed silk shirt, but I found a suitable, budget-friendly alternative at H&M.

In keeping with the tribal vibe of Anna's look, I found a couple of great pieces by House of Harlow 1960 that add instant edge to a feminine or classic top. The studded Frye boots are seriously fierce, but when paired with her classic pant and a cashmere sweater, they're instantly softened. And the brogues? It's safe to say a menswear-inspired piece will always be welcome in the workplace.


  1. Additional question! How short or long does a top need to be when you don't have butt pockets and your pants are super fitted? The woman I bought the pants from in J-Crew was wearing a short top and I thought it looked a little disproportional. Maybe that's just my long torso speaking...?

  2. Anna - this is a GREAT question, and one that, frankly, I have very strong opinions about. No matter how thin you are and how twiggy your legs may be, if you are wearing a very fitted pant (legging, jegging, riding pants) that tapers in at the ankle, your shirt should surpass or reach the top of your inseam. It should also cover your derriere. This is a matter of proportions and politesse, ladies. NO EXCEPTIONS.

  3. I can't wait to read more on this topic because as of tomorrow, I will be facing the same "problem". I have my first day at Hasbro tomorrow, where the dress code is entitled "business casual" and although I have a vague idea what clothes I have to stock up on.. I am still not exactly sure.. especially because I have to cover all of my tattoos. Oh, well. This will be an awesome inspiration for me! I totally love Anna's outfit, by the way.